January 23, 2010

This is my Dad. In fun I like to call him Pop, or, when I feel like I should sound more grown up, I say father, but really he’s my Dad. I’m 42 now, and very much an adult, but it some ways I’ll always feel like a kid around him. Thinking back to when I was in my twenties, there were times I thought I should try and act more mature around him, but really it was an act. Kind of silly when I think about it. It doesn’t matter how old I get. He’ll always be one of only two people that have known me since the first day I drew breath.

I don’t know why, but I haven’t photographed my Dad very much over the years, and even then only in snapshots. One reason is that I value my time so much with him, that I don’t think to stop and take his portrait. He lives a plane ride from me, so when I do see him, it never feels like there’s enough time to talk about every topic that’s been on my mind. So much of what I understand about the world has come from my Dad. Values and ideals come from both my parents, but issues ranging from politics and science, to female equality and logic, are largely informed by my father.

Tonight, a wonderful surprise, was the second night in a row we were able to dine together. It was a short visit, but meant a great deal to me. As we left the restaurant I saw my shot, and directed him to the railing. This photograph is exactly who my Dad is. Robert E. Hoffman. Unbelievably smart. Confident. Loving. Patient. Logical. Sweet. Generous. Successful. Kind. He has many other qualities as well, but this is mostly how I think of him.

What I really like about tonight’s image is the ease in his expression. He stands for the camera, devoid of acting, exactly as he is. Creating his portrait required the shutter be activated twelve times, and took less than a minute. Afterward, he dropped me off, we said our goodbyes, and I began my evening posting. I love you Dad.

My Dad No. 1- Biscuit Factory Lofts – Los Angeles
ISO 800, 24-70 @ 60mm, f/3.2 @ 1/13 sec – Handheld – Available light

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